Thursday, 29 August 2013

Hillman Avenger Tiger

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

If you've ever fancied owning an Avenger Tiger, now is the time to strike. With prices for top-flight examples stretching well into five figures, collectors are starting to see these racy four-doors as not only a viable alternative to the Escort Mexico, but something that offers a whole lot more rarity.

The Avenger Tiger, as with so many performance cars over the generations, began life as a PR exercise. In March 1972, the Chrysler Competitions Centre began lifting shiny new Avenger Supers from the production line and monkeying about with them to make them more enticing to petrolheads; the 1500GT motor was fitted, its cylinder head ported and sporting larger valves, along with twin Weber carbs and a raised compression ratio. All of this enabled a heady peak power figure of 94bhp. The brakes, gearbox and rear axle all came from the GT, while the suspension was uprated to suit the various changes.
The performance figures - 0-60mph in 8.9s, 108mph - beat those of the Escort Mexico, and so the Tiger grew from a styling and performance exercise to a full production model in October '72. These used the quad-headlight Avenger GL shell, and around 400 were built (in addition to the 200-odd originals), available in either Wardance Red or Sundance Yellow. And because it was the nineteen-seventies, they had awesome graphics plastered all over them too. Naturally.
So - would you rather have the cachet of a Mexico, or a quicker car for rather less cash...?

This pristine example was spotted at the 2013 Retro Rides Gathering. Click here for more photos.

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